The first annual Corpus Christi World Food Day Celebration was held in Cole Park on Wednesday, Oct. 16. The event, hosted by local nonprofit GROW Local South Texas, was free to attend and celebrated a full array of educational programs, including vendors from the Downtown and Southside Farmers’ Markets, educational speakers, and food samples from area restaurants promoting Genetically Modified Foods(GMOs)-awareness.

“Education is a huge push for us, because we know that growing your own food or even knowing what to buy at a farmers' market can seem daunting,” said Aislynn Campbell, Executive Director of GROW Local South Texas.

The World Food Day Celebration, which is a worldwide event designed to increase awareness and lead to year-round action to alleviate hunger, will host a variety of educational topics on community gardening, local farmers’ market shopping, cooking, genetically modified foods, local soil health, rainwater collection, aeroponics, and food preservation.

“Local food systems are important because they reduce food mileage, taste better and directly support our own community,” said Campbell. “These are the first steps for this community. Adopt a system of supporting our own community and neighbors. And grow some of our own food.”

GROW Local South Texas hopes to raise awareness of adopting a local food system with further interaction with and support from the community.

“We just want to let everyone know that we feel, as most other cities do, that growing our local food system is a valuable use of our community’s time and money,” said Campbell. “We believe that the biggest way to get people to adopt is through education.”